The Making of a Gentleman

Guiding Values Discussed by Chattanooga Gentlemen 

Photography by Rich Smith / On Location at Kinley Hotel

The definition of gentleman originally referred to someone who came from a good family – meaning landed gentry or nobility. While the concept of a gentleman no longer depends on wealth, it does often still include coming from a good family. These seven local gentlemen all credit their families as examples of love, service, and sacrifice in their lives, and dive into how they’ve put those lessons into practice by living well and serving their communities.



“Who I am and what I do definitely started with watching my mother engage in the community and be of service to others. Although I did not truly appreciate it at the time, those moments planted a seed for service, eventually recognizing that my work and impact could not be just about me – it was bigger.  

Reflecting on the teachers and mentors I’ve had in my life, it was not surprising that as I got older, I gravitated towards organizations like Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and the Presidential Leadership Scholars – both helping individuals impact their community and this world. This bent towards service is why I returned home to Chattanooga and has continued throughout my career. The work I do now centers around creating inclusive cultures and spaces where people feel a sense of belonging and connection.

My legacy is to have made an impact by inspiring others to live purposefully and share their unique talents with the world. May our work and the flame we ignite guide future generations.”

(Above)  Wade A. Hinton, Esq. (He/him)

Founder and CEO, Hinton & Company 

Franklin Farrow Co-founder and CEO, Morning Pointe Senior Living


“Growing up in rural South Carolina, my three sisters and I were often involved in chores around the home and garden that were necessary to support the family. Physical labor coupled with doing our best at school and being responsible for our actions were our contribution in helping parents who were sacrificing to give us a Christian education. 

Moving to Collegedale, Tennessee, in our teenage years, we transitioned into a community that continued to strengthen our Christian education and provided mentors who demonstrated a life of purposeful living and giving. 

Our careers were launched in Chattanooga, which is steeped with generous people and organizations who embrace living a meaningful life. This environment is one that draws you in, shapes your missional muscles, and exposes you to opportunities to be of service. It is noted in the Bible that to whom much is given, much is required. I feel this principle is applicable to all aspects of life, including family upbringing, education, career, and success.”  

Franklin Farrow

Co-founder and CEO, Morning Pointe Senior Living

Chuck Zeiser President Emeritus, Southern Champion Tray


“My 86 years of life began with a happy home where our parents loved us and set daily examples of the values of honesty, hard work, self-respect, respect for others, and faithful moral living. 

My dad, Milton Zeiser, started Southern Champion Tray with only four employees in Chattanooga. I joined SCT in 1958 and was named president around 1970. Recognizing my lack of business experience, I committed our business to the Lord Jesus Christ, depending on him for guidance. He has never failed me. 

The influences of parents and others are too numerous to list here, but certainly my wife, Joanne, has been a significant influence in my life. Our two sons have stayed true to the guidance of Jesus Christ in their stewardship of SCT and of their own families. Family members, friends, pastors, and mentors who have poured into my life are many, and I am deeply grateful to each one.”

Chuck Zeiser

President Emeritus, Southern Champion Tray

ermaine Freeman Senior Advisor for Economic Opportunity & Interim Administrator, Department of Economic Development, City of Chattanooga


“My parents have been and continue to be the largest forces of influence in my life. My brother and I were fortunate to grow up with two loving and caring parents who raised us on a solid foundation of love, support, and faith. Along the way, I was also blessed to have a few mentors, mostly teachers, who, like my parents, encouraged me to be my own man and to follow my own path. My parents and mentors instilled in me the belief that each of us has a responsibility to improve the world around us, and I try to follow this belief every day.”

Jermaine Freeman

Senior Advisor for Economic Opportunity & Interim Administrator, Department of Economic Development, City of Chattanooga

Glenn Morris President and CEO, M&M Industries


“One day, a homeless lady walked in front of me to the entrance of a diner. She saw me dressed up, held the door open for me, and said, ‘After you.’ I smiled, declined, and she went in first as she should have, as a lady. Her moment leveled me.

We think it’s manners that make us gentlemen and ladies. I submit that life can teach us just how magnificent the person next to us really is. Manners will come easily with the realization that we ought to honor them and, more importantly, who they are.

The men who taught me the most were my father and father-in-law. My father, in how he treated others and stood for what he thought was right. My father-in-law, for example, never ate until his family was served. Their influences have lasted a lifetime.”

Glenn Morris

President and CEO, M&M Industries

Chuck Zeiser President Emeritus, Southern Champion Tray


“My mother and father divorced when I was three months old, and I spent the first three years of my life with my grandparents. My grandfather became a huge influence in my life and taught me the value of hard work. My mother taught me the value of family and how to love family and friends regardless of their unique characteristics and beliefs. 

Pastor Dick Frost and Tennessee Temple College taught me the importance of sharing and living out my Christian faith every day. In November 1971, Mrs. Edna Bunn hired me to be the associate director of the Children’s Home. She said I had the least experience and credentials of all the candidates, but she loved my compassion and enthusiasm – she taught me to not read a book by its cover. 

My wife, Paulette, has been my bedrock for 56 years and has helped me stay grounded and focused during my 50 years of service at Chambliss Center for Children. I am the sum total of all these individuals and so many more who have molded me into the person I am today.”

Phil Acord

CEO and President Emeritus, Chambliss Center for Children

Dr. Ternae T. Jordan, Sr. Senior Pastor, Mount Canaan Church


“My zeal for life was guided by my godly parents, Melvin and Maggie Jordan, who instilled in me to be a person of character and to love God and all His people. My father taught me that ‘a good name is better to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold.’ My earthly angel and wind beneath my wings is my amazing high school sweetheart and wife, Angela Faye, who has always given and taught me about unconditional love. 

I’m a servant who believes in servant leadership, from my teaching career in Chattanooga public schools to the three amazing Baptist churches I’ve served as senior pastor. 

I love Chattanooga, and I have given my life as an advocate and servant for our city and its citizens. My prayer is to leave a legacy for my children and grandchildren and to make Chattanooga a better place for all. I’m honored and blessed to be named a Southern Gentleman.”

Dr. Ternae T. Jordan, Sr. 

Senior Pastor, Mount Canaan Church

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